Thursday, April 18, 2024

When Do I Stop Giving My Dog Puppy Food

Faqs About Dog Feeding Guidelines

How To Teach Your Dog To Take Treats Gently

How often should I feed my dog?

  • Puppies should be fed 4 meals a day, bringing this down to 3 meals a day at the age of 4 months until your pup is 6 months. It is important that the puppy is fed a diet designed for its age and breed size. There are diets specifically designed for puppies and young dogs which will ensure the growing dog receives the nutrition required for healthy growth and bone development. Browse our puppy food here.
  • For dogs of 12 months or older, feed 1-2 times a day. Small breeds burn energy quicker than large breeds and should be fed 2-3 small meals a day. Little and often is key! Browse our adult & senior dog foods here.

Feeding Tips:

How much should I feed my dog?

Choose a high-quality dog food like our grain-free Canine Choiceand look at the recommendations on the label. Most high-quality dog foods recommend approximately 1-1/2 cups per 10kg of body weight per day for smaller breeds, since they require 15-25% more calories per pound than larger breeds. Large and giant breeds are more often fed 1 cup per 10kg.

You must also consider the following, and adjust the food amount accordingly:

  • Actual calorie content of the food, current weight and projected target weight if necessary

  • The activity level of your dog, low/moderate etc

  • Other environmental variables

  • Any additional calories from treats or table foods

  • Does the amount to be fed in the feeding guidelines pertain to each meal or the daily amount?

How should I determine what to feed my dog?

You Can Feed Your Dog Some People Foods

While there are some foods that are safe for dogs to eat, you should refrain from feeding your puppy with food from your table while you are eating. Dogs will very quickly learn to expect food from the table, even after only one time, and while this may not be a big deal to you when you are eating alone, it may be a big deal when you have company and the dog is sitting at your guests feet staring expectantly. Dogs do not know the difference between a casual dinner and a dinner with guests. In some cases, dogs will even help themselves to whatever is on the table, so it is best to train the dog early on not to expect food from the table — or even the kitchen counter.

If you do have some dog-safe leftovers that you want to share after your meal, take the food to the kitchen, away from your eating and meal preparation areas, and place the leftovers into a dog food bowl. The dog does not need to know that the food came from your plate to be happy that you have given him good food to eat.

To better avoid the prospect of having your dog stare and whine for table scraps, or refuse to eat his own food in favor of waiting for your leftovers, arrange to have his meal times before yours, so that he is not hungry while you are eating, and do not give him leftovers unless he has eaten his own dinner first.

The Key To Food Rewards Is Reinforcement Not Bribery

The most important thing to bear in mind is you must only use treats as a reinforcement tool they mustnt be used as bribes.

Reinforcement is basically payment for a job well done. They have done a good job of following your commands, and AFTER they have done a good job you reward them. This is a reinforcement.

Bribery is basically offering something for your dog to work for after theyve knowingly refused to perform a behavior. They said no, so you offer them something BEFORE and only THEN do they follow your command. This is a bribe.

Reinforcement will make sure your pup is trained effectively and maintains their good behavior in the long-term, while bribery guarantees nothing but short-term gains.

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My Old Dog Is Not Eating Well

It isnt uncommon for senior dogs to lose their appetite to a certain extent. Sense of smell and taste can decline with age, and lower activity levels may mean that the dog simply needs less food.

Most older dog gain weight because of inactivity. Those who keep losing weight usually have an underlying long term health problem, problems with their digestion or difficulty in swallowing. So if your older dog it not eating and keeps losing weight you should have him checked out by your vet.

When older or chronically ill dogs eat too little over a long time they lose, not only body weight, but also lean mass . Youll want to avoid this by offering them small meals with a high protein and fat content. But what if your young puppy of new dog doesnt want to eat?

What Is Resource Guarding

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Resource guarding is when a dog reacts when they perceive a threat to a valuable resource in their possession. The dog feels they are about to lose something and takes action to keep it. Resource guarding does not always have to end with growling, lunging, biting, or fighting. Patricia McConnell defines it well, as “any behavior that discourages another to take, or get too close to, an object or valued area in the dog’s possession.” This behavior could be as simple as a look, head turn, or slight baring of the teeth.

Guarding resources is a natural dog behavior. It’s a natural animal behavior humans included! Access to resources like food, water, and a safe space is essential to survival. It’s hardwired into animal nature to protect the things we believe we need to survive.

While resource guarding is a normal dog behavior, it’s not a desirable one. Resource guarding becomes a dangerous problem if a dog is willing to bite or fight to keep an item. Aggression around food, toys, or space, can result in dog bites to humans or fights between your pets. This is especially worrisome in a home with young children, elderly family members, or if the dog is not predictable in what items they decide to guard.

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How To Transition Puppy To An Adult Dog Food

When you stop feeding puppy food, you must change more than just the food he eats. The number of meals and portion sizes will shift, too.

Most puppies eat three meals a day, but adult dogs can eat just two meals per day. The feeding guide on your dogs food label will tell you how much to feed your dog each day and to split the amount into two meals.

When its time to transition your puppy to an adult dog food, do so gradually. A gradual transition helps prevent stomach upset.

Heres a sample transitional feeding plan:

  • Days 1 to 2: Feed 3/4 of the normal amount of puppy food and add 1/4 adult dog food.
  • Days 3 to 4: Serve half puppy food and half adult dog food.
  • Days 5 to 7: Feed 1/4 puppy food and 3/4 adult dog food.
  • Days 8 to 10: Serve only adult dog food.

If your dog resists eating the adult food or experiences an upset stomach, extend the transition time as needed. Consult with your veterinarian for more help if needed.

For more information and tips on puppy and dog nutrition from our experts, visit our Pet Expertise page.

Grated Fruits And Vegetables

You can add certain fruit and veggies to your dogs food to help get rid of worms. Theyll make your dogs digestive tract less welcoming. Good choices include carrots, cucumber, watercress, greens, squash, and fennel. Pineapple is also a good choice. Its full of bromelain, an enzyme that digests proteins. It can also boost your dogs immune system to help him fight off the worms. Another enzyme called papain, in papaya, can also help combat worms.

Pomegranate is useful for fighting off tapeworms. Compounds in pomegranate help expel worms from the digestive tract.

Add at least 1 tsp of any of these fruits and veggies per 10 lbs of body weight to your dogs meals twice a day. Veggies in your dogs diet can also provide a much-needed source of fiber.

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Reason #2 For Asking If Your Senior Dog Can Eat Puppy Food

Its the only food your senior, geriatric dog will eat. If you are feeding puppy food because its the only food your dog in failing health will eat and your choice is puppy food or nothing then puppy food it is. You might also try some homemade food at this point, like ground chicken or ground beef slurries.

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Selecting a puppy food can be daunting. Most major dog food companies work with pet food nutritionists and adhere to strict guidelines for creating complete and balanced nutrition. The most important thing to remember when choosing a dog food diet is that its appropriate for your pups life stage.

While there are many pros and cons of what to feed a puppy, the best food for your pup is the one that he enjoys eating, fits in with your budget and your familys needs, and has your veterinarians seal of approval.

* Always follow veterinarian recommendations and/or instructions on the bag.

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Preventing Resource Guarding From Developing In Puppies

The process of preventing resource guarding isn’t much different from the tips outlined above. Prevention is always easier than treatment!

Set your puppy or new dog up for success by:

  • Letting them eat or chew in peace. Don’t put your hand in their food or pet them while they’re eating.
  • Practicing positive-sum trades. They drop a chew, they get a high-value treat, and then their chew back.
  • Teaching them to drop it and leave it.
  • Managing their environment. If you don’t chase after them when they have a sock, the sock will have less value.
  • Make sure to properly socialize your puppy. Socialization is crucial for preventing a variety of dog behaviors, such as resource guarding, fear aggression, and separation anxiety.

There are lots of training exercises you can do with puppies to prevent resource guarding. Here’s one example by Kikopup showing how to help prevent toy guarding in a puppy:

How Much Food Should You Feed Your Puppy

A post shared by Raffles and Frederik on Apr 12, 2017 at 7:28am PDT

The feeding guidelines printed on the puppy food bag are a starting point, but really, portion size depends on the individual dogs.

Watch your puppys body condition as she grows, and adjust portion sizes accordingly. If she seems to be holding on to her puppy pudge for too long, it could be a sign shes eating too much. Similarly, if she leaves food in the dish, it may mean shes ready to drop from three to two meals a day. Also, if youre giving your puppy lots of treats throughout the day, you may need to adjust her meal size.

In general, several meals spread throughout the day is the best way to feed your puppy. A feeding schedule helps distribute calories and energy throughout her day. As a bonus, sticking to a regular feeding schedule means a regular potty schedule, too!

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How To Use Treats In Your Dog Training

Once youve discovered a treat or two your dog gets excited about, its time to get down to the actual training.

Weve talked about what not to do , now lets focus on what we should be doing when using treats during dog training.

These next few tips should set you on the right path to using dog treats as an effective tool and is the most important information in this article.

When A Dog Has Gone Off His Food

Why does my dog place its paw on me when I sit down?

When a dog hasnt eaten at all for around three days vets will refer to it as anorexia. Partial anorexia is when a dog eats, but not enough to keep him healthy and fit. This is a medical term and doesnt mean that your dog has a mental problem. There are many reasons why a dog or puppy might go off their food.

If a dog eats nothing for a few days or loses his appetite over a period of time this can be a sign of a serious illness. A mild illness, like a tummy upset, could cause him not to eat for a day or two. Problems with his teeth or pain can also cause him to eat less just like you would.

But there are other reasons for a dog to stop eating. Lack of appetite can be caused by changes in the environment or emotional upsets. Not eating can also be a learned response. Thats right. Some dogs learn to get the food they prefer, by refusing to eat whats on offer.

Well look at all this and more. But first things first. Lets exclude serious emergencies.

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Choosing The Right Food For Your Puppy

The right diet for your puppy should be high in fat, protein and calories to nurture and maintain his development into adulthood. Make sure you read the packaging to see what benefits your food offers your puppy. Some foods contain health-enhancing vitamins and antioxidants to protect the immune system and minerals that promote urinary health.

Puppy food is available in wet or dry forms, and what you choose will largely depend on your and your puppys preferences. Dry food is made up of small pieces called kibbles. Its cost-effective, keeps well and is easy to serve. Wet food is available in cans, and is better for puppies who need extra hydration, as it contains up to 70% more water than dry food. If you want to add variety to your puppys meals, you can mix the two foods together. Do your research and choose a food that gives him everything he needs to grow and develop to his full potential. Look for foods that are complete. This means you can feed him without the need for supplements or additional food.

When your puppy becomes an adult, he will need a different level of nutrients than he did when he was younger. Depending on his size and breed, he should be switched from puppy to adult food somewhere between 1 and 2 years of age. Larger dogs may not reach adulthood until they are around 2 yearsits important to continue feeding them puppy food until they are fully grown.

Feeding Your Older Dog

As your dog ages, they need a diet to meet their more mature needs. Dogs are generally considered to be older or mature when they reach about half their life expectancy. This is around 7 years for small dogs and 5 years for larger dogs. There are also diets available for senior or aging dogs, which are often designed to be fed in their last few years of life.

Diets for older dogs are more easily digestible and contain a balance of nutrients that can help to compensate for some of the aging changes dogs can experience. This can include helping to support their joints, and reducing levels of nutrients that your dogs body might struggle to process when theyre older.

When your dog is aging, its even more important to monitor them closely to check how much theyre eating and drinking each day. Eating less, eating or drinking more, having less energy or losing weight can be a symptom of problems such as arthritis or dental problems. If youre worried, its important to speak to your vet for advice.

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How Do I Know If My Puppy Is Eating The Right Amount

Veterinarians evaluate dogs using a body conditioning score, which ranges from one for emaciated, to five for obese. It’s normal for very young puppies to have some baby fat, but after the first 8 to 10 weeks, “puppies should be a two”, Buffington says.

You can learn to assess your dog at home. At a score of two, which is relatively thin, a puppys ribs may be visible. The tops of the back bones will generally be easily seen. You shouldnt be able to feel any fat on its ribs. You should see a waist when looking down at your puppy and an abdominal tuck when looking from the side.


Mind Your Own Actions

When Should Puppies Start Eating Food?

Pups are curious animals, and its no surprise their ever-sniffing noses can reach almost every counter. Dont leave any food unsupervised or leave open access to your kitchens table. You cant blame your pooch for their instinctive curiosity and desire to get some extra snacks. Make sure to take all food from easy-to-climb surfaces, especially if you have a larger pup.

Your dog is likely to snitch into hidden places if left unsupervised. To track your dogs behavior from afar, using a pet camera is a superb option. With Petcube Cam, you can benefit from a 1080p HD video to track your dogs behavior. Once you see your pup trying to reach a kitchen table, use 2-way audio to distract them and use the commands learned earlier.

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Signs Of Resource Guarding In Dogs

These are the most obvious signs of resource guarding. Unfortunately, too often it isn’t until a dog is doing these things that I get a call for help from the dog’s owner:

  • Growling
  • Lunging and Air Snapping
  • Chasing you or another animal away
  • Biting

In developing and “milder” cases of resource guarding, a dog might show less intense signs of guarding behavior. A certified dog trainer, veterinary behaviorist, behavior consultant, or someone with experience reading dog body language, will often see these more subtle signs prior to the actions described above:

  • Freezing
  • Taking an item and moving away
  • Braced body position over the item
  • Subtle shifting of body weight to “block” the item
  • Side eye staring or tracking of the person or pet approaching
  • Raising lips and baring teeth
  • Ears pinned flat against the head
  • Hard stare

Sharing our lives with our dogs means that we need to make sure they feel okay with us approaching things they find valuable. There’s no need to guard food, toys, or space if we teach them that our removing an item, such as their chew, results in something equal or better than what they had. Giving up something to us willingly and happily needs to be trained and rewarded for our dogs so that resource guarding doesn’t become an issue.

Unfortunately, the collective human response to a dog who is resource guarding has been the wrong one for too long. Using punishment and aversives as a response to resource guarding can result in MORE resource guarding.

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